*Robert Greene, A groatsworth
of Wit bought with a million of repentance.
The Footman Tours are led by Smith and Jones, a pair of Regencystyle courtiers with powdered faces, white wigs, frock coats and a groatsworth
of theatricality, leading their party around the previously inaccessible corners of the 19th-Century building in a whirl of wit and historical fact.
A colourful cast of 'bad husbands' reform, repent, recant, or 'turn thrifty' in these ballads.(17) The alewife is usually cast as the villain, having long been portrayed in literature as an exploitative temptress, her ruthless business streak often complementing lax morals.(18) The narrator of The Countty Hostesses 1-indicatiHn, for instance, boasts brazenly that 'If Tap should faylll toollt go the Tail.(19) Two Pen ny-erorth qf Wit for a Penny has an alewife 'slabering and kissing';(20) while in The Heat)) Heart, and a Light Purse she entices one particularly wayward husband into her bed.(21) The alewife is grasping, sitting 'in pomp and state' at her customers' expense c4 Groatsworth
of Good Counsel lbr a Penny).
(12) Patching clues drawn from Shakespeare's plays, Chiari relates Shakespeare's growth, from a green hand to a dramatic master, to his relations with Robert Greene's critique of his originality in Greene's Groatsworth
of Wit, and argues that Shakespeare returns favor to his ill-fated predecessor and shows his appreciation of his precursor in dramatic allusions.
Robert Greene, Marlowe's friend, reports in his Groatsworth
of Wit (1592) that Marlowe's irreligious perception is atheistic (Kocher 1962: 112).
Nevertheless, the 400th anniversary is upon us, and I'm about to throw in my groatsworth
However divided critics may be over the order of composition of the Henry VI plays, they are unanimous on all three being written before 20 September 1592, when Greene's Groatsworth
of Wit, with its specific allusion to 3 Henry VI, was entered in the Stationers' Register.
Robert Greene's insult, posthumously published in Greene's Groatsworth
of Wit (1592) would be a likely choice for such a reference at this time and in this milieu.
There is no evidence from any source that he was `lame', or that he suffered from shame and ignominy (apart from the attack on him in Robert Greene's posthumous 1592 work Groatsworth
of Wit); his alleged close association with an earl is evidence that the opposite was true.
Oh, how I laughed at his cryptic line about the author's "obligatory reference to Greene's Groatsworth
of Wit." Who in hell knows, I thought, what he's talking about?
At college I accepted as certain truth the story about the "upstart Crow" in Greene's Groatsworth
of Wit transformed into Ben Jonson's Sweet Swan of Avon--the young poet from Warwickshire who in the summer of 1587 goes off to London to seek his fortune, finds his way to the Globe Theatre and there joins a company of actors, writes a sequence of immortal plays, performs on occasion at the court of Elizabeth I, roisters in taverns with Will Kempe, returns to Stratford in 1610 at the age of forty-six, acquires a fine house and a coat of arms, writes The Tempest, and walks softly among willow trees until his death and transfiguration in 1616.